CARACAS, Wednesday February 04, 2009 | Update
The government held "fruitful" talks with representatives of the Jewish community in Venezuela, during which they condemned the recent attacks on the Caracas synagogue, reported Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicolás Maduro.
The senior official said that the Jewish delegation included the chair of Venezuela's Confederation of Israeli Associations, Abraham Levi Benshimol, and Elías Vitar.
"We have ratified them personally and on behalf of President Hugo Chávez our repudiation and absolute condemnation of the criminal attack on the sacred site of the Jewish community in Venezuela -the synagogue," said the Foreign Minister.
He added that the government extended its "recognition and respect" to all the Jewish residents in Venezuela, and reminded them of the government "principles of respect."
"We, Bolivarians, will not allow for any demonstration against Jews or any other religious expression of our people in our territory; this runs counter to the principles of President Hugo Chávez and the most sacred principles of our people enshrined in the Constitution," Maduro noted.
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.